‘Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly’

The Year 12 Examinations are upon us and in full flight. The Year 12 students have not only shown tremendous courage all year navigating through the various restrictions and lockdowns, but they have ended their official time at Carey and begun their SWOTVAC with maturity and grace.

Over the last few weeks, students have been auditioning for the 2022 Senior School Musical, Mamma Mia!. A large number of people auditioned and, as is the case with all musicals, some were successful and others missed out. Regardless of the result, I was so proud to read so many names of students who put themselves out there and tried their very best. I know even the ones who missed out and may be upset will have learnt from the experiences and gained greater strength and resilience that will hold them strong in the future. Currently, a number of students are also training and vying for First Teams in cricket, tennis, volleyball, softball, badminton, table tennis and futsal. Such acts reminded me of one of my favourite quotes originally by Theodore Roosevelt and later again used by John F Kennedy during his presidency:

‘It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’

– Theodore Roosevelt

Whether it is auditioning for a production or studying for an examination, all we ask from all our students is that that try their very best. Building on Roosevelt's quote, John F Kennedy said that ‘only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly’.

One of my heroes is Winston Churchill and after the Dardanelles Gallipoli campaign which, as we know, was an unmitigated disaster, Churchill held strong to his values and ideals and, during the 1930s, continually opposed the Nazi regime when many did not. More recently, J K Rowling was once on the verge of losing everything, on welfare and once recalled being on a train unable to pay for her and her children's trains tickets only to write herself out of poverty and bankruptcy. She dared greatly.

Christian Gregory
Deputy Head of Senior School – Student Welfare

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